Images give character and expression to buildings

Apr 03, 2018

Putting special emphasis on the facade raises the value and appreciation of an area. This is the view of architect Lennart Jonasson, who has designed the Fleminghallen building in Flemingsberg, in the municipality of Huddinge. Flemingsberg is situated about 20 kilometres south of Stockholm. Fleminghallen was completed at the end of 2017, and hosts an ICA market, along with a sports arena and an apartment hotel upstairs.

“Focusing on appearance raises the image of the area and gives residents more reason to be proud of their surroundings,” Lennart Jonasson from Sweco Architects says.

The Ruukki Expression product is used in Fleminghallen’s facade, which consists of energy-saving wall panels and images attached to their surface.

Putting special emphasis on the facade influences people in many ways. In a pleasant environment, vandalism and defacing of property, for example, decline significantly.

“This investment also reflects appreciation for the people who use the building," Mr Jonasson continues.

A hotel has been built next to Fleminghallen, and there is a public square in front of it. Development of the area is still in progress, and the locale is developing little by little into Flemingsberg’s new centre.

 

Inspiration from picture collages

Without considering the matter more deeply, one would think that pictures with sport themes would represent the best possible illustrative theme for the walls of a sports arena. However, they can also be easily interpreted as product advertising.

“In the end, I decided on the sorts of images that viewers can interpret themselves in their own way. The inspiration for the images came from various pictures and paintings I picked elements from,” Lennart Jonasson reveals.

If patterns and pictures were to present objects, people, plants or other directly interpretive objects, the facade would've been shorter-lived. Viewers would become bored with them faster.

“A facade gives a building character and creates atmosphere in the surroundings. Interest in the building increases when the viewer isn’t quite sure what the images show," Lennart Jonasson explains.

 

Something quite new

Skanska was Fleminghallen’s developer and main contractor. In addition to the technical requirements, such as compactness and sound insulation, the demands for the architecture were that something special would be carried out in the building design.

“In the beginning, one alternative was a silver-grey facade, but that would've been much too drab," Mr Jonasson asserts.

For Skanska project manager Daniel Bendelin, Fleminghallen was his first contact with Ruukki Expression. Skanska used an experienced installation firm for the purpose and the work went well.

“Installing the panels as a whole didn’t require any special operations and know-how compared to standard panels. On the other hand, it requires particular precision in terms of the logistics to ensure that the panels that fit the individual patterns arrive for installation in the right order,” Daniel Bendelin points out.

Mr Bedell has received a wide variety of feedback about the patterns, both positive and negative. The fact that the images provoke an emotional reaction is already a good thing.

“In my view, these sorts of pictures and patterns provide a good opportunity to create something exciting and different with architecture; otherwise, something relatively simple to the surface,” Mr Bedelin declares.

 

Character and identity for the area

Images bring character and expression to buildings, especially in the sort of industrial surroundings where the buildings are of the same kind.

Mr Jonasson reminds us that careful thought should go into the use of images with regard to where they should be applied and what kinds of pictures should be used, so that the environment does not get confusing. Because the urban milieu is regulated by town planning, a developer using images is a pioneer for the continued planning of the area.

“The pictures and facades came out great. We have received only positive feedback and from the fact that we emphasised art. Many who were involved in the project are so satisfied with what was achieved that they’ve taken photos of the building and have brought their families with them to see what they’ve accomplished in their work,” architect Jonasson says happily.

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